As One…

As One…

We have only a couple of prayers of Jesus recorded in the bible. One of those times of course, was when He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane…the other was Jesus’ prayer for us…including those who believe because of the message taken by his disciples, all over the world. This prayer is found in John 17, and I find it deeply moving.

So what did he pray?

“that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17 v 21 ESV)

When it comes to it, I think we are all kingdom builders. From a young age we want to be the architects of our own lives that they might say something about us. In our world, image is everything! (even if it is a sham).

But the kingdom building instinct is meant to be for HIM. It is for HIS glory, for HIS honour, and ultimately so that the WORLD MAY KNOW that they are loved. Might we have to ask forgiveness for our kingdom building, and lay it all down?

As I have pondered the prospect of what it would look like if we were to see a great revival, here in our land…I have to conclude it will only come when the church are

AS ONE

……just as the Father, the Son and the Spirit are one.

Remember how Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 talks about the body…you know the verses – the eye cannot say to the hand – I don’t need you…etc. It turns out this ‘comic’ section of a letter from Paul – is pretty serious. Could it be that we are so busy building the church of the ‘hand’ in one part of our city, and the church of the ‘eye’ in another, believing we are building His kingdom, when in fact we are just building our own? Of course our expressions are different, but they are meant to function together.

I like the way the Message version puts it because it reminds us that we need that life blood – the work of the spirit – to flood through all the different organs of the body and then the connections are made, so we live and move under the direction of the head – that is Christ.

It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which He has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptised.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful.

(1 Corinthians 12 v 12-13 MSG)

If Jesus said we have to love each other, for the world to know that they are loved, then a great place to start loving each other, is in the place of prayer. Praying together allows God to pour out his spirit on us all, and the more we do it, I think, the more he can build us together as his people, His body. To extend the metaphor, you could say, new neural pathways, can be made.

Last autumn a 24/7 prayer event was held in a prayer room in Boscombe, and we were so thankful for the precious and tangible presence of the Spirit…and this year we want to draw near again but feel it is on God’s heart that we come together to seek his face for our towns…and we can’t do it without you…

Wherever you live….Whatever church you call home….

YOU are invited….

You can sign up right now

(on your own, with a friend, or in a small group) at

https://www.24-7prayer.com/signup/6099cb

This is a ‘whole body of Christ’ event, at the Community House (An expression of Coastline Vineyard) (10 Borthwick Road BH1 4ER) in Boscombe, from 16th – 22nd October.

 – Helen Riggs